• ABB and B&R present first fully integrated solution at SPS

    Integration of ABB robots into the B&R automation system eliminates the need for dedicated robotics controllers, separate control cabinets and programming specialists. The new solution reduces complexity and optimizes synchronization. Customers benefit from unprecedented precision and user-friendly programming.

    B&R products speak OPC UA over TSN
    A comprehensive portfolio of products for open, real-time capable OPC UA over TSN communication will also be on display at the B&R booth. With X20 PLCs, bus controllers, industrial PCs and a TSN machine switch, B&R enables fully standardized networks for modular, adaptive machines. The open standard reduces a multitude of protocols down to a single one – with a single interface exchanging standardized data between all the nodes in the network. Machinery and plants become substantially easier to develop and operate.

    Decentralized compact drives simplify machine development
    Also to be found at the B&R booth will be two completely new, especially compact motor-mounted drives. The new ACOPOSmotor devices facilitate the development of modular plants and machinery. They reduce installation costs and save cabinet space. The new motors cover a power range from 0.22 to 0.35 kW, and the smallest version measures just 60 mm x 90 mm (w x h). Despite their compact dimensions, they have a full-fledged integrated servo drive that enables control loops as fast as 50 µs.

  • New law requires pharmacies to provide “prescription readers” to blind patients

    The units are called prescription readers. They read a chip applied to medication bottles and convey information about dosage, side effects, refills, etc. James Edwards of the Oregon chapter of the American Council of the Blind says the unit can be a literal life-saver.  “Just imagine yourself being blind and you have to take, say, six different medications because of some certain illness that you have, and not being able to read it,” he said.

    Before new technology such as prescription readers, Edwards—who is visually impaired—said most blind people Before new technology such as prescription readers, Edwards—who is visually impaired—said most blind people “had some sort of a system they would use, by putting one rubber band around a bottle that had a certain prescription, and then two around another.”

    “It was kind of an archaic way of doing it, but it was the only option they had if they lived alone,” said Edwards.  

    He said another option for visually-impaired people was to hire an aide, but not only could that be expensive, it also contributed to a loss of independence.

    The Florida-based company that manufactures the most widely-used prescription reader estimated in submitted testimony that it would cost pharmacies approximately $400 per year to lease the equipment needed to dispense the labels, plus another $2 per label applied to a prescription. The readers themselves are provided by the company at no cost.

    House Bill 2935 was modeled after a similar law in Nevada. The Oregon measure passed both the House and Senate on a mostly party-line vote, with a handful of Republicans joining majority Democrats in support of the bill. Gov. Kate Brown signed it into law on June 20. 

  • Roctool laptop plastic moulding company has expanded into eco-friendly beauty packaging

    According to Roctool, its method is eco-friendly as it is suitable for standard, recycled and bio-sourced resins and reduces the need for coatings that contribute to a harmful carbon footprint.

    “Our technology allows no compromise between luxury and sustainability. Today, the two must go hand in hand,” said Mathieu Boulanger, CEO of Roctool.

    “As such, we are pushing our research in several areas: with designers from around the world, suppliers of innovative materials, and of course with our customers, whose expectations we share.

    “We are well aware that our industry has entered a new era, a challenge we are committed to overcoming every day.”

    Roctool Beauty Solutions is said to be suitable for all types of make-up, skin care and fragrance packaging solutions, including bottles, flexible and rigid tubes, jars and all types of lids and caps.

    It can also use its heating technology to control temperature in the mould to create ultra-thin parts, shiny, matte and textured surfaces.

    Sign up for your free email newsletter Roctool added that it can also remove defects, such as injection points, weld lines and all other material-flow lines.

  • Alpla to consolidate pharmaceuticals brand

    The move to consolidate the brands follows Alpla’s recent acquisitions in south-eastern Europe and Africa, which the company says “have done more than just strengthen its presence in these regions.”

    “Thanks to the new locations, this family-run company based in Austria now has access to decades of experience in the packaging market for pharmaceutical products,” the company said in an Oct. 3 statement, adding that this expertise would now all be combined into ALPLApharma.

    The new branding is more than just a marketing strategy, according to Walter Knes, global sales director closure systems, injected parts and pharma at Alpla.

    “We are consolidating all our previous work for pharmaceutical customers under this brand. In doing so, we are combining the specific expertise available to us through our new locations with all of our services, knowledge and globally applicable standards,” said Knes.

    For customers, Knes added, the move means a larger selection of products and more service at an international level. ALPLApharma, the company emphasized, is a brand of the Alpla Group and not a legal entity of its own.

    While Alpla is known principally for its customized packaging solutions, in the pharmaceutical sector, standardized products play a large role, explained Knes.

    As a result, the current product portfolio of ALPLApharma includes standard bottles for liquids and solids and containers for tablets and pills; closures and dispensing systems — especially eyedroppers and nasal sprays — as well as devices for administering medication with and without measuring function.

    However, Alpla said it was hoping to improve its offerings in this market segment with custom-made designs, too.

    At CPhI, ALPLApharma will be presenting CRC justONE, a very light, childproof closure, manufactured in just one injection molding process with straightforward assembly

    Normally, there are three parts to a childproof closure with a tamper-evident band that can only be opened by simultaneously pushing and turning the closure.

    These parts are produced in three separate production steps and then assembled later.

    This production process has now been has streamlined in a significantly more efficient workflow, said ALPLApharma

    The new closure is certified under 16 CFR § 1700.20 and ISO 8317 for childproof packaging for bottles ranging from 30 milliliters to 1.5 liters.

    The improved manufacturing process reduces material consumption by 25 percent, a saving that achieves an excellent price-performance ratio and protects resources.


    New applications on the way At CES 2020, we unveiled Perso’s capabilities for skincare. However, the 3-in-1 device will also be able to create custom formulas for lipstick and foundation — which will be launched at a later date.“L’Oréal is one of the most trusted names in beauty, and with Perso, we are putting personalized technology directly into the hands of our consumers,” said Guive Balooch, Head of our Technology Incubator. “Perso uses AI to optimize the formulas and actually gets smarter as you use it.” How Perso works Perso creates personalized skincare formulas in four steps: Providing a personal skin analysis: Our customer will launch the Perso mobile app and take a photo with their smartphone camera. Thanks to the ModiFace technology we have acquired in 2018, their overall skin condition—including deep wrinkles, fine lines, the appearance of dark spots, and pore visibility – will be analyzed with the help of AI. Analyzing the Environment: Using Breezometer geo-location data, Perso takes into account the local environmental conditions that can influence the state of our customer’s skin. These might include weather, temperature, pollen, UV index, and humidity. Adapting to personal preferences: The next step is to enter personal skincare concerns into the Perso app, including fine lines, dark spots, pigmentation, pore size, radiance, and dullness. To customize the unique formula of moisturizer, serum, and under-eye cream even further, the preferred texture and hydration-level can also be added. Making a custom formulation and dispensing: All of this data helps to create a personalized blend of high-performance skincare, dispensed in a perfectly portioned, single dose at the top of the device for easy, clean application. The technology adjusts for morning and evening application, and the device features a detachable mirrored top so that our customers have the option of taking a single or larger dose with them on-the-go. Perso’s hardware features a patented motor system located at the top of the device which moves and compresses the formula from the cartridges at the base of the machine in an upward motion to the dispensing tray above. Looking ahead to new features Perso's future makeup offerings will be able to incorporate real-time trend information as well as color-matching technology. So, our customers would be able to design a lipstick shade to match their outfit or to opt for a color that is trending on social media at that moment. In the meantime, our focus will be on the launch of Perso in partnership with one of our leading skincare brands in 2021.

  • PackPlus is India’s biggest exhibition on Packaging, Converting and Supply Chain industries

    In its service to the industry for almost a decade, PackPlus has emerged as the most trusted and longest running event for the packaging and converting industry in India. The exhibition showcases new-to-market products, solutions and technologies from India and overseas representing segments such as packaging, converting, processing and supply chain among others.

    PackPlus Delhi is now scheduled for 28-31 October 2020 at Pragati Maidan (ITPO).

    The previous edition of PackPlus Delhi was a stunning success, with almost 350 exhibitors and nearly 20,000 high quality trade visitors. We continue our relentless effort to further build and enhance a top quality exhibitor and visitor audience that is a trademark of our event, making it the leading packaging trade show in India. While these are uncertain times, we are working hard to be ready and prepared for October.

    We will continue to closely monitor the on-going situation and remain in close contact with all our PackPlus stakeholders over the coming weeks and months, and our thoughts remain with all those impacted by the virus.

    Soon, we will step out from behind of our screens, we will look each other in the eye and we will do face to face business again!

  • How to introduce traditional culture into product packaging design

    Today's society and economy show a very obvious characteristic, that is, commodities are being rapidly eliminated at the same time as they are circulating at a very fast speed. At this time, if the product wants to occupy a place in such a fiercely competitive market, in addition to relying on the superiority of the product itself, the packaging design is also outstanding. We can use traditional folk art as the inspiration for the design of product packaging, ingeniously integrate with modern science and technology, combine traditional beauty with modern advanced technology, personalize and innovatively reflect the characteristics of goods, while promoting the circulation of goods. Can enhance the value of traditional culture.
    In recent years, the auspicious pattern decoration, which is popular among consumers, has been widely used in packaging design. The dragon pattern has always been famous for its unique artistic style and lively appeal, and has become a symbol and symbol of national tradition. Especially, the dragon pattern is designed in the packaging as a decoration and theme pattern. The artistic image of various commodities forms a certain mood and expresses a certain theme, which can play a great role in sales. Among them, the application of dragon pattern on wine packaging decoration is particularly prominent. For example, the packaging design of Bancheng Shaoxing Liquor has well expressed the concept of the product, bringing people a beautiful desire to pursue upward, auspicious, and has a strong artistic charm. The handling of color is also very strong and bold, which is rare in the packaging of other countries. The combination of red, yellow, gold, silver, black and white, and other difficult-to-reconcile colors produces a strong visual effect and strengthens the Chinese nation. Expression in traditional style.
    At the same time, in order to design works that are creative, practical, and influential, designers should understand that packaging design channels are not unique. Designers must integrate graphics, text, and layout in a logical and emotional way. Used in the appearance of the package, it can resonate with the consumers emotionally while expressing clearly. Therefore, in addition to combining a good creative product design channel with the market value of the product itself and consumer emotions, it must also integrate with the traditional culture and art of the nation.

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    Many plastic materials are hydrophobic. If water molecules are trapped in the polymer matrix, they will not bind to the polymer and have a negative impact on the mechanical properties of the material. Therefore, flame retardants added to the plastic products shall have possibly low moisture content; often the specification is to reach ppm level. To reach such low moisture content within reasonable drying time, the vacuum drying process shall be carried out under high vacuum and the product temperature shall be as high as the product allows. For some organophosphorus compounds for example, process temperature over 300 °C is not unusual.

    The AVA HTC-VT type vacuum dryer can be well adapted to this application. The dryer is equipped with a heating jacket, which can be heated with thermal oil to max. 350 °C, meanwhile the pressure in the dryer is reduced to < 100 mbar abs. by means of a vacuum pump, to accelerate the evaporation of the moisture. In the HTC-VT dryer the product is brought into a mechanical turbulence, operating on the hurling and whirling principle. That causes an intensive heat and material exchange. The entire product is dried homogeneously within a short period of time. The frequent load alternation (temperature as well as pressure) is a big challenge for the construction of the dryer, in particular for industrial scale machines. AVA supports customers with its comprehensive process and constructional knowledge to find the optimal solution for the drying of the flame retardants.

    Flame retardants are chemicals which are added to flammable materials, e.g., plastics and textiles, in order to prevent or slow the further development of the flame in case of fire. Beside inorganic flame retardant (metal oxides and salts), organohalogen and organophosphorus compounds are the most important types of flame retardants. In comparison to the organohalogen compounds, the organophosphorus compounds have higher heat resistance and higher thermal stability. Especially in Europe, organophosphorus compounds are preferred.

  • Morrisons’ Best Bacon sizzles on shelf thanks to new packaging solution

    (Morrisons manufacturing), were looking to re-launch their Best Bacon product improving its Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) solution to attract shoppers in store. DS Smith was the perfect partner to help do this.

    Historically, single-use plastic trays have been the retail standard to keep products upright on shelf. Taking positive steps to reduce its use of plastic packaging Morrisons revised its packaging policy in 2019 to challenge the use of any plastic. The supermarket is also a signatory of the UK Plastic PACT and acknowledge increased consumer pressure to remove the use of single-use plastic packaging.

    In addition, Morrisons wanted to reduce supply chain and material costs and to improve the customer experience, aiding navigation for shoppers in-store and improving on-shelf availability in order to increase sales.

    DS Smith had simultaneously been exploring a new RRP design using sustainable fibre-based corrugated cardboard, which is 100 per cent recyclable. When Morrisons saw the DS Smith Optishop Fin concept, it seemed like the perfect solution, so DS Smith became the development partner for the product.

    DS Smith’s design, technical, sales and marketing expertise was used to create a scalable on-shelf pack for supermarket shelves that can be assembled at high speed. The open nature of the new RRP design allows consumers to easily select a preferred primary pack without disrupting the remaining contents.

    RRP is traditionally designed to be viewed face on. In contrast, this design has asymmetrical sides so branding can be seen well in advance of reaching the product, giving it additional call out and visual appeal.

    Another clever but simple feature of the design is the fold over section, which provides inside print opportunity, removing the need for double face printing. This maximises branding opportunities and ensures that the on-shelf packaging aligns with the primary pack’s look and feel.

    The team at Farmers Boy joined DS Smith colleagues at the Featherstone PackRight Centre, afterwards working collaboratively to conduct multiple lineside trials and due diligence, evolving and refining the design, ready for full scale manufacture. A stainless-steel assembly jig was also designed to achieve packing line efficiencies.

    Katherine Whitham, Procurement Manager - Packaging/Manufacturing at Farmers Boy explains: “The solution that the DS Smith team devised perfectly fulfilled our Best Bacon re-launch brief. For us, the primary pack is king, and it is vital that the pack remains upright. We are delighted by the visual impact of the RRP and how it complements the product and primary pack. We believe it will create shelf disruption, encourage sales growth and boost market share.”

    Another significant element of the RRP is improved shelf utilisation and pallet fill, compared to the previous on-shelf packaging. Shelf replenishment time is reduced as there are no perforations to activate and it is simply removed from the transit packaging and placed straight onto shelf.

    Used trays require no knock-down once shopped and are easily compacted back of store ready for recycling. This means the packaging is a real closed loop initiative, supporting Morrisons’ commitment to a circular economy.

    Jo Cartwright, Strategic Account Manager at DS Smith, concludes: “Optishop Fin has broken down generic boundaries and is considered as part of the product rather than secondary packaging. Our work with Morrisons demonstrates a real partner collaboration to deliver this innovation to meet the supermarket’s relaunch date.

    “The new RRP has helped increase sales, and importantly has addressed a specific market need and meets Morrisons' circular economy commitment.

    “We’re extremely pleased that the 100 per cent fibre-based RRP is a first-to-market. It meets consumer expectations in creating an alternative to single use plastic, and is eye-catching, increasing brand visibility within a strong category. This is an exciting moment for us, as the format works across multiple substrates, print and conversion processes, and so can be used across most FMCG products.”

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